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  1. #1
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    Normal.dot et.al. (Word 2K, SR1)

    My business partner and I write lengthy reports for our business that go to clients. We use Word 2000 SR1 and it works well. However, we've recently come up to a problem that probably has a simple solution.

    When I receive one of my partner's documents, and begin pasting the various pieces into mine, the formatting gets all fouled up. I now notice that his styles seem to drift all over the place, instead of staying wiht NORMAL.DOT. We have in the past synchorinized our NORMAL.DOT files. This situation probably comes from using old documents as templates.

    Maybe there's a better way? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks a lot.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Harris <img src=/S/confused.gif border=0 alt=confused width=15 height=20>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


  2. #2
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    Re: Normal.dot et.al. (Word 2K, SR1)

    Bob,

    The situation you describe pretty well defines the need for a custom 'workgroup' template.

    Basing shared documents on Normal.dot can lead to the kind of formatting foulup you describe, as different users may define styles differently in their respective Normal.dots.

    Instead you should consider building a custom "Report" template that is designed to produce the type of report document you need. Within this template you can create customized styles that are suited to producing that specific type of document. (Along with a host of other features such as page setup, autotexts, macros, customized toolbars - all suited to producing report documents - which you can have the customized template provide.)

    Gary

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    Re: Normal.dot et.al. (Word 2K, SR1)

    Hi Gary,
    That makes all kinds of sense! I sincerely appreciate your comments and will do exactly that.

    Another thought that I had pertains to the fact that we have tended to use the latest version of certain reports as the starting point for new reports. This would, of course, tend to carry errors in styles and formats forward and actually compound them. From now on, we'll use a fixed style and a specific template.

    Thanks again for your suggestion.

    --Bob <img src=/S/bravo.gif border=0 alt=bravo width=16 height=30>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


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    Re: Normal.dot et.al. (Word 2K, SR1)

    Bob,

    Glad if that works for you.
    One addendum to tack on to your followup:

    Once you create a Report template with its own set of styles, it should be reasonably safe to reuse previous reports, as the basis for new reports, as long as the previous report was based on the Report template too, and as long as the styles in the previous report document have not been too badly messed around with.

    However, when you first deploy your new Report template, you will be faced with the situation where you will want to reuse the content of an earlier report (which is not based on the new Report template), for the creation of a new report which uses the new Report template.

    In this situation, do not just copy the content of the old report and paste into a new document based on the new template - this likely will bring across some of the 'junk' formatting from the old document.
    Instead, copy the content of the earlier report, create a new document based on the new Report template, and then use Edit > PasteSpecial > Unformatted Text to paste the old content into the new document.

    Done this way, you incur the one-time overhead of needing to reapply styles, but you will end up with a better-functioning new document. (You may also need to copy/paste any graphics from the old document to the new, separately. Also, you may need to rebuild the structure of any tables that are in the old document since pasting as unformatted text loses the tables - still worth doing in this situation.)

    Gary

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    Re: Normal.dot et.al. (Word 2K, SR1)

    Hi Gary,
    Thank you very much for the additional clarification. We, like many people I suppose, do relatively minor modifications to the standard template. As we've gone along now for about 9 years, the modifications have beome more numerous. Your clarification should help us do this much more smoothly and without so many edits to clear up formatting errors.

    Thanks again, very much.

    Sincerely,
    Bob Harris <img src=/S/clapping.gif border=0 alt=clapping width=19 height=23>
    -Bob Harris
    "Seek Simplicity, Then Mistrust It!"


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